Marriott International has completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., creating the world’s largest hotel company.
The mega-deal now brings together 30 leading brands including lifestyle brands, luxury and select-service tiers as well as the convention and resort segment. Marriott will match member status across Marriott Rewards – which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards – and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), enabling members to transfer points between the programmes for travel and exclusive experiences when they link their accounts.
The new company will operate or franchise more than 5,700 properties and 1.1 million rooms, 30 leading brands from over 110 countries. With the completion of this acquisition, Marriott’s distribution has more than doubled in Asia and the Middle East.
Commenting on the completion, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International said: “Throughout our nearly 90-year history we have never stopped searching for fresh ways to serve our guests. With the addition of Starwood’s strong brands, great properties, and talented people, we have dramatically expanded our ability to provide the best experiences to our customers. We also welcome the tremendous responsibility as the world’s largest hotel company to be a good global steward, providing new opportunities for our associates and building the economic strength of the communities we call home.
“We believe that Marriott now has the world’s best portfolio of hotel brands, the most comprehensive global footprint, and the most extensive loyalty programs, providing an unparalleled guest experience. Combining Starwood’s brands with ours better enables Marriott to reach our goal of having the right brand in the right place to serve our loyal guests and welcome new ones,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. “We can now provide a better range of choices for our guests, more opportunities for our associates, and greater financial benefits for our owners, franchisees, and shareholders.”
Marriott Rewards – which includes the Ritz-Carlton Rewards – and SPG will offer members more benefits when they link their accounts, as well as new destinations such as Aruba, Tuscany’s Serchio Valley and Kruger National Park in South Africa for SPG members and the Maldives, Bora Bora and Santorini, Greece for Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members.
“Marriott will draw upon the very best each program offers and we can’t wait to show the loyal members of these programs the power and benefits of Marriott and Starwood coming together,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Commercial Officer.
Marriott will launch a microsite, Members.Marriott.com, for all members of the combined company’s loyalty programmes to learn more about the reciprocal benefits now available and to link accounts.
Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood enables the combined company to expand the scope of its distribution and portfolio while deploying its larger scale to realize cost efficiencies in its corporate and property operations. One-time transaction costs for the merger are expected to total approximately $140 million. Marriott intends to take steps to cause Starwood’s outstanding public debt to be pari passu with the outstanding public debt of Marriott International by the end of 2016.